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Got my February Lana'i getaway booked today!

Big Island, Hawaii
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Got my February Lana'i getaway booked today!

My s/o is headed to a family wedding in Colorado (brrrrr), so my 11-year old and I decided we'd skip the snow and head to our beloved Lana'i for five days, 2/6 - 2/10. Wish it could have been longer, but work and school await. We usually split our time between the Lodge and Manele, but we're only staying at Manele this time, so I'll be interested in (and report back!) on the "enhancements". A big GULP at the 30+% increase in kamaaina rates since last year.

We plan to get a Hummer again as we did last year, and plan to revisit favorites like Awalua as well as go to Kaunolu and Kahekili's Leap where I've never been. We'll play a round at the Experience, eat at Lana'i Grill, and of course get in lots of snorkeling and swimming, weather and ocean permitting. Can't wait! Any new places to eat or things I should know, Lana'i peeps?

Edited: 5:31 pm, January 19, 2013
Big Island, Hawaii
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11. Re: Got my February Lana'i getaway booked today!

I would never crash another hotel pool. The policy is the policy, and what you did before isn't relevant. I actually think the change is a good one, the Manele pool is small and always looked crowded to me, probably in no small part due to the guests from the Lodge coming down.

From most accounts the "Ellison" changes in food and service at Manele are big positives, I doubt seriously Ellison wants, or will, do anything to decrease hotel room occupancy, quite the opposite.

Anyway, I don't know how anyone can feel like their Lanai trip is "ruined" because they can't sit by a pool at a hotel they're not staying out. The island is magic, go enjoy it!

Big Island, Hawaii
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12. Re: Got my February Lana'i getaway booked today!

FYI, I just looked at my reservation confirmation from Manele Bay, which states:

" The pools and fitness centers at both resorts are reserved exclusively for guests registered at that specific resort."

Charging privileges between the two hotels are still in place.

Less than a week to go...yay!

Island of Hawaii...
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13. Re: Got my February Lana'i getaway booked today!

I've always thought the "sister resort" relationship was what made either of the resorts worth it. Going back and forth between two worlds and climates ... and I'm not one to lie out in the sun.

I did use the pools, because the ocean wasn't swimmable either time I was there. If it had been I would probably not have cared about the Manele pool, but the area has a great view and is good for reading.

Not everyone can afford to get the Hummer for the whole stay, so the resorts become more important than on some other island. JMHO.

I can see how this new rule could affect the Koele Lodge winter occupancy.

But mostly, the perceived value of getting to use both resorts is huge to me, because they complement each other, and were designed and built with a sister relationship in mind. So yes, seriously!

Minnesota
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14. Re: Got my February Lana'i getaway booked today!

I'm honestly not trying to start something...texts, emails, trip advisor postings...can all have the tone misunderstood :) I am only asking because I am staying at Manele Bay for the first time this March. I dont really know much about either resort. What was the benefit you got from the Lodge by staying at Manele? Being landlocked I want to be by the ocean and would never consider the Lodge. So I would think if you want Manele's pool you would stay there. We have loved coming on day trips to snorkel and swim so unless you absolutely can't swim when we are there, we will not be at the pool anyway. I'm just wondering what Manele guests got out of it. I also know if both places were busy and I wanted the pool but couldn't get a spot because of all the lodge people- I'd be upset. I know it typically isn't that busy...but still.

Island of Hawaii...
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15. Re: Got my February Lana'i getaway booked today!

OK, fair question.

Well, the way it used to be, when I went I was treated as a guest of the resort, just sleeping and having a room at one or the other. For example, I stayed at Manele for several days and then moved to Koele for some time. I had full privileges at both.

The Lodge had the beautiful landscaping, the very fun putting course, a quiet pool area, a high tea every afternoon, music in the evenings of high caliber (as opposed to generic bar band at Manele). It had croquet and archery and shooting clay.

I didn't have to choose whether I wanted an upcountry style vacation or a beach hotel vacation; I had both.

In the summer, it was lovely to escape from the heat at Manele and hang out in the cool pines at the Lodge.

You're looking at it as if the Koele guests are invaders. That wasn't the concept. Each hotel was developed to make the best of its location and as a connected pair they created a unique diverse resort environment. If you want a warm pool you go down the hill; if you want to hike and be active (outside the beach), you go up the hill.

Many residents of Hawai'i love Koele Lodge, which offers something they don't get anywhere else in the islands. You are looking at the situation from only the perspective of coming from a landlocked area, but you're only part of the clientele.

Whether or not people want to use the pool or the ocean. or if there are other things to do on the island, is not the point. The point is that people expect a pool amenity as part of a stay at a Four Seasons in Hawai'i, and expect a pool ambience somewhere in the mix that is warm enough to use if they so wish.

I am sure that a portion of the Manele poolside restaurant patronage comes from Lodge guests, but I don't know why people would want to go there if they aren't allowed to use the pool or the loungers.

The Koele Lodge was always a specialty type lodgings with a more narrow appeal, that was the baby of the island's owner. I imagine that one way to keep the Lodge afloat was to give shared privileges.

Personally, but keep in mind I didn't go in February, I thought the Lodge had a much cooler vibe than Manele. For one thing, there was a policy of inviting the larger community to the Great Room for music. I made a few friends while I was there, and have very special memories of seeing Hapa there.

The only thing I liked about Manele was the art, the swimming pool, and the beach proximity. The Lodge grounds were awesome. I wish they hadn't taken away the Orchid Conservatory. I loved the walk to the Clubhouse, loved the wood floors and the murals on the wall in the music room, the overstuffed furniture and the delicious tea, the lack of screaming children.

Minnesota
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16. Re: Got my February Lana'i getaway booked today!

Thank you! That explains more to me because like I said...I had absolutely no background on the history. I just know when I have come, I loved the peacefulness and beauty there. I can't wait to finally spend a couple days there. I do wonder what it meant when LE said he would like Manele to "go off the grid". Thank you again for explaining it to me!

Edina, Minnesota
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17. Re: Got my February Lana'i getaway booked today!

KK, it is nice to see you sharing your always common sense advice. Mahalo. I really don't think this change in policy is going to be a deal breaker for very many people. If it is just the pool and fitness that is not to be shared, that still leaves a lot that can be used at each resort. If I was staying at the Lodge (which as another Minnesotan would not be my choice due to the need to be by the ocean), I would just go down to the beach. Even with big waves, which I have experienced, one can still cool off in the water after the waves break. The use of the bars and restaurants at the sister resort is all I have ever needed.

As Shea said, there is so much more to do on the island, that I too have almost never sat at the pool. And one does not need to rent a 4x4 to enjoy all the Lana`i has to offer, although a day of exploring is worth the cost. Hiking, tennis, golf, horseback riding, exploring the gardens, relaxing in the lobby, exploring Lana`i City, etc. . . . . .

Travelbugged, I know you will have a great time. Make sure you post a trip report. :-)

18. Re: Got my February Lana'i getaway booked today!

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